Parliamentarians from 25 countries that are part of the 25th Asia‑Pacific Parliamentary Forum have been told by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that it is their sacred duty to protect men, women and children.
While opening of the 25th Asia‑Pacific Parliamentary Forum at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa in Natadola this morning, Bainimarama said raising the status of women has been a top priority for his government and so he was extremely proud that last year’s forum produced its first-ever meeting of Women Parliamentarians, a welcome step towards addressing the need for greater inclusion of women in public life, and particularly in political spaces.
He also acknowledged the role the Speaker of Parliament Dr. Jiko Luveni who serves as a tremendous role model for every Fijian.
He says Dr Luveni has used her position to become a forceful advocate for greater acceptance of women in Fijian politics and national life.
Bainimarama says his government is very proud of the significant strides they have made to address social and economic inequality in Fiji.
He says ten years ago, Fijian society was riddled with institutional biases on the basis of religion, ethnicity, gender, provincialism and socioeconomic status.
Bainimarama says while it is a work in progress, they have knocked down many long-standing barriers to equal opportunity and have laid out a clear progressive path for national development.
He says the Fijian people stand more united and more prosperous than at any time in our history.
He says Fiji cannot be prosperous if we are besieged by crime, corruption and internal or external threats, either by state actors or criminal and terror organisations.
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